Why does the West rule? Eminent Stanford polymath Ian Morris answers this provocative question, drawing uniquely on 15,000 years of history and archaeology, and the methods of social science. In the middle of the eighteenth century, British entrepreneurs unleashed the astounding energies of steam and coal and the world changed forever. Factories, railways and gunboats then propelled the West's rise to power, and computers and nuclear weapons in the twentieth century secured its global supremacy. Today, however, many worry that the emergence of China and India spell the end of the West as a superpower. How long will the power of the West last? And in order to find out we need to know: why has the West been so dominant for the past two hundred years? With flair and authority, historian and achaeologist Ian Morris draws uniquely on 15,000 years of history to offer fresh insights on what the future will bring. Deeply researched and brilliantly argued, "Why The West Rules - For Now" is a gripping and truly original history of the world. "'A provocative and extraordinary contribution to wide-screen comparative history... a true banquet of ideas' (Boyd Tonkin, Independent) 'An important book - one that challenges, stimulates and entertains. Anyone who does not believe there are lessons to be learned from history should start here' (Economist) 'Perhaps the smartest and sanest guide to the twenty-first century so far' (South China Morning Post)"